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Enhanced Driver’s Licence vs Passport

What is an enhanced drivers licence?

An enhanced driver’s licence is a form of driver’s license that also verifies your citizenship.  It can be used as an alternative to a Canadian Passport when traveling to the United States by land and sea only.

Why Should I Get an Enhanced Driver’s Licence?

I decided to research this and find out why someone would obtain an enhanced driver’s licence, when simply a passport would do.  Here is what I have found:

  • I had a client who called me asking about getting a Record Suspension for a fraud conviction related to lying on a Passport Application.  He told me the fraud resulted in a 5-year ban from possessing a Canadian Passport.
  • I looked up the fee for an Ontario 5-year enhanced driver’s licence.  It’s fee is only $40 compares to the cost of $120 for a 5-year Passport.  Accordingly, it is a low-cost alternative to a passport

However, since the Enhanced Driver’s Licence is only good for travel by land and sea between Canada and the United States, I would bet that the Canadian Passport is the way to go for most Canadians.

How to Obtain a Provincial Enhanced Driver’s Licence

You can obtain an Enhanced Driver’s License in the following Provinces:

Enhanced Driver's LIcence for Ontario

You can not obtain an Enhanced Driver’s Licence in the following Provinces or Territories at this time.

  • Alberta
  • Saskatchewan
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nunavut

Federal Government Websites

If you would like to research current Government published information on this topic, please check out the following links:

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